Trainer VR provides unlimited space and opportunities to create elaborate train systems along with an assortment of scenery and environments. Use pre-made pieces to develop a busy city, fun farm land or a wild west themed world with intricate or simple train paths. The nostalgia is at an all time high as you re-live a childhood past time of playing with train sets, but without the price, space requirement or even stepping on those pesky pieces. Trainer VR is currently only a single person game and although relatively limited at the moment, could expand and present innumerable amounts of fun and combinations.
Genre: Creation Game
Controller: Dual Shock or Move Controllers
Game Length: N/A
PlayPSVR Score: 7.5
I had relatively low hope for Trainer VR simply because I am not a fan of trains and I haven't had the most fun with titles in which the primary objective was to create. But Trainer VR floored me. I have had an absolute blast with this game, both literally and figuratively. About 85% of my creations have TNT that goes BOOM at some point. And I absolutely love it.
With a name like Trainer VR you think of something that will get you sweating, but instead this is a simple train creation game in which you can place tracks along an infinite amount of space and decorate the surrounding area. This is one of the most simple games you will see on the PSVR, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Within 5 minutes of booting up the game you are on your way to making a train track. There is no tutorial and the physics of the game is simple enough to instantly grasp. I want to contrast this with Dreams (especially since the beta is now not under NDA). In Dreams you can create things that will blow Trainer VR away like a spec of dust. BUT.....to do something like that you will need to invest hours and hours into Dreams to manipulate and familiarize yourself with the tools. Trainer VR took about 10 minutes to build my first simplistic track with a train station, rocks, elevated tracks and a complete loop. Again, with no tutorial. To make the same thing in Dreams would take me hours (both because of my inexperience with Dreams and because Dreams is so much more detailed).
Trainer VR provides only one track in terms of physical appearance, but provide pieces that are straight, curved, elevated, go through rocks, bridges, provide actions and more. There is even an intersection piece that randomizes where the train can go. So you really have unlimited options in terms of how your train can move and where it can go. Each piece has a red connector end, you put two ends together, they combine and boom, you are on your way to making a track. You then choose your train, place it on the track, set it in motion and watch it go.
Along with the tracks the game provides a host of different surrounding pieces that spruce up the area. These include trees, several different building types (if you wanted to make a train station in a city), mountains, rocks, fountains, etc. They also provide peripherals such as railroad crossings, different trains, storage units to put on the trains, etc. Finally you can also choose just random things to put into your scenes like people, animals, hot air balloons, cars, TNT, boxes, lumber, houses, barns, silos, etc.
There is also a section of the map where you can enter that has a pre-built environment that looks like the Grand Canyon that you can just build the train station and where you want your trains to travel. This saves on the time required to make a suitable landscape for your trains and allows you to really focus your creativity on building elaborate train tracks.
The controls of the game are simple, the move buttons open up the menu that allows you to choose the different tools and accessories that you want. The O button makes you teleport, which is a little awkward at first. But otherwise everything is pretty simple and tracking works well so no news is good news on this front.
My only complaint at this point is actually a problem we will face in the future. Right now I am enthralled with having my trains run over cows, explode by dropping from big heights, using the city as a backdrop, etc. But at some point these limited accessories will become old. And the BOOMs! will get less exciting. And when this happens it will be up to the developers to add content to keep us interested. If that doesn't happen, it will be a dying game.
Another thing I think that would make this game much much better are two things: 1) somehow have a mode where we can view each other's creations. I would love to see what people around the world are making and to play with their train sets. and 2) if somehow they could create a mode where you can ride the train in VR that would be mind blowing. To see the city you just built or watch as your train plows over an Elk would be awesome. This would be much tougher and have a higher demand in terms of graphical capabilities and developing, but would be incredible.
My favorite part about the game? Destruction. The developers knew that people would want to wreak havoc. And they made it entirely possible while coaxing you into it even. When two trains collide-BOOM! When you add TNT that gets bumped-BOOM! And when things go BOOM heads roll and bodies fly. I cannot tell you how much of a child I feel when I set two trains in motion on a collision course and seeing the explosion and devastation of broken tracks, people being flown into the air, buildings getting wrecked, etc. just makes me giddy. Until you experience it for yourself you won't understand. But then the challenge is finding the most creative and out of this world ways for collisions to happen. It's an absolute hoot and easily my favorite part of this game.
Trainer VR is a very pleasant surprise that combines design, creation, nostalgia and fun all in one package made so everyone can play it. The game appeals to younger users as well as older ones. It honestly, is simply a surprisingly great concept and was very very well executed. I give my top notch recommendation for this game as a hidden gem that may (who knows until the game has been out for a while) only disappoint via the limited number of decorations, accessories and pieces to place. If you like trains, to create things or watch things explode, Trainer VR is for you and should be on your PSVR short list.